Book Review (ARC): The Witches of New York – Ami McKay

24726526The Witches of New York

By: Ami McKay
Expected Publication Date: October 25, 2016 by Knopf Canada
Format: eARC courtesy of NetGalley
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy, Adult, Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Literary Fiction
Rating: ★★★¾

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Summary:
The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom (‘Moth’ from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it’s finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and “gardien de sorts” (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan’s high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions–and in guarding the secrets of their clients.

All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment. Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor’s apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind?

Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches’ tug-of-war over what’s best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force.

As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they’re confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?

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Penguin Random House Canada Fall Preview

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This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend a fun afternoon at the Penguin Random House Canada‘s head office in Toronto (which was beautiful), and watch a presentation about some of their most anticipated Fall/Winter releases.

There were so many books that sounded amazing, but there were a few mentioned that I was particularly excited about. So, I wanted to share the summaries of those books to spread the word!

The first book is the one that I’m most anticipating, and the rest are listed by date of release. I hope some of these sound good to you, too!

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Book Review: Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

818108Norwegian Wood

By: Haruki Murakami (trans. Jay Rubin)
Published: September 12, 2000 by Vintage
Format:
Paperback
Pages:
389
Genres:
Adult, Literary Fiction
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary:
Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

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Book Review: Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi

27071490Homegoing

By: Yaa Gyasi
Published: June 7, 2016 by Knopf
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 305
Genres: Adult, Literary Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★

Summary:

Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

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